Viscott May 24, 1938 - October 10, 1996
David Viscott Md was
an American psychiatrist, author, businessman, and media personality. He
was a graduate of Dartmouth (1959), Tufts Medical School and taught at University
Hospital in Boston. He started a private practice in psychiatry in 1968 and
later moved to Los Angeles in 1979 where he was a professor of psychiatry
at UCLA. He founded and managed the Viscott Center for Natural Therapy in
Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Pasadena, California.
In 1980 Viscott began
presenting his own full-time show on talk radio, and was notably one of
the first psychiatrists to do so (talk station KABC). He screened telephone
calls and gave considerable amount of free psychological counselling to
his on-air "patients."
In 1987 Viscott briefly
had his own live syndicated TV show, Getting in Touch with Dr. David Viscott,
providing much the same service as his radio show. In fact, the shows ran
concurrently. In the late 1980s he had a weekly call-in therapy television
program on KNBC in Los Angeles early Sunday morning after Saturday Night
style was to attempt to isolate an individual's source of emotional problems
in a very short amount of time. Many of his books were of a self-help nature,
written to assist the individual with his/her own examination of life. His
autobiography, The Making of a Psychiatrist, was a best-seller, a Book of
the Month Club Main Selection, and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Along with psychiatric
advice, he would fall back on his medical knowledge to regularly devote entire
segments of radio to answering medical questions. During these segments he
would give medical advice. Many of the questions answered had to do with
pharmacological advice. This was unique in the world of talk radio.
peaked in the early 1990s, and then fell sharply. A divorce, followed by
declining health, occurred at about the same time that he left the air waves.
He died in 1996 of heart failure complicated by a diabetic condition. At
the time, he was living alone in Los Angeles. He is survived by his four
children, Elizabeth, Penelope, Jonathan, and Melanie